Friday, May 04, 2007

Ron Paul at the Debate

From left to right: Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, James S. Gilmore III, Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, Tommy G. Thompson, Rudolph W. Giuliani and John McCain.

This first post-G.W. Bush U.S. Presidential race, in this age of the Information Awareness Office, offers Ron Paul, as the by far most apparent best choice for anyone concerned about the frightening potential of this unprecedented centralization of knowledge and power.

He would be the candidate most likely to investigate and stop abuses of domestic surveillance, such as what a time line may suggest happened to me for writing about the dirty baseball stadium deal along South Capitol Street, in Washington, D.C., that blocks the governments' plans (which appear as late as September 2001) for a South Capitol Mall.

He appears to be the likeliest to challenge the perversion of eminent domain, as practiced by the District of Columbia government.

Excerpts from the Republican Party Presidential Candidate debate:

MR. HARRIS: Congressman Paul, you voted against the war. Why are all your fellow Republicans up here wrong?

REP. PAUL: That’s a very good question. And you might ask the question why are 70 percent of the American people now wanting us out of there and why did the Republicans do so poorly last year. So I would suggest that we should look at foreign policy.

I’m suggesting very strongly that we should have a foreign policy of non-intervention, the traditional American foreign policy and a Republican foreign policy. Throughout the 20th century, the Republican Party benefited from a non-interventionist foreign policy. Think of how Eisenhower came in to stop the Korean War. Think of how Nixon was elected to stop the mess in Vietnam. How did we win the election in the year 2000? We talked about a humble foreign policy. No nation-building. Don’t police the world. That is a conservative, it’s a Republican, it’s a pro-American, it follows the Founding Fathers. And besides, it follows the Constitution.

I tried very hard to solve this problem before we went to war, by saying declare war if you want to go to war; go to war, fight it and win it, but don’t get into it for political reasons or to enforce U.N. resolutions or pretend the Iraqis were a national threat to us.


MR. VANDEHEI: Thank you, Congressman. That’s time.

Congressman Paul, Pete from Rochester Hills, Michigan wants to ask you this. If you were president, would you work to phase out the IRS? (Laughter.)

REP. PAUL: Immediately. (Laughter.)

MR. VANDEHEI: That’s what they call a softball.

REP. PAUL: And you can only do that if you change our ideas about what the role of government ought to be. If you think the government has to take care of us from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a foreign policy that we cannot manage, you can’t get rid of the IRS. But if you want to lower taxes, and if you want the government to quit printing the money to come up with shortfall and cause all the inflation, you have to change policy.


MR. MATTHEWS: Okay. Let me go to -- Dr. Paul, how do you reconcile this moral -- moral leadership kind of role of conservatism with the very libertarian strain of conservatism, the Barry Goldwater conservatism that you represent? How do you put together what he just said with what you believe in a unified national purpose?

REP. PAUL: Well, you do it by an understanding what the goal of government ought to be. If the goal of government is to be the policeman of the world, you lose liberty. And if the goal is to promote liberty, you can unify all segments. The freedom message brings us together, it doesn’t divide us.

I believe that when we overdo our military aggressiveness, what it does it actually weakens our national defense. I mean, we stood up to the Soviets. They had 40,000 nuclear weapons. Now we’re fretting day in and day -- night about third-world countries that have no army, navy or air force, and we’re getting ready to go to war.

But the principle, the moral principle is that of defending liberty and minimizing the scope of government. And every --

MR. MATTHEWS: I’m sorry, we have to go on. We have to go on.


MR. VANDEHEI: Congressman Paul, Bob Hussey (sp) from Minnesota writes that perhaps the most important skill a good president must have is the ability to make good, sound decisions, often in a crisis situation. Please cite an example when you had to make a decision in crisis.

REP. PAUL: I wonder if he’s referring to a political decision, like running for office or something like that. (Laughter.)

I guess in medicine I made a lot of critical decisions. I mean, you’re called upon all the time to make critical, life-saving decisions, but I can’t think of any one particular event where I made a critical decision that affected a lot of other people. But I think all our decisions we make in politics are critical. My major political decision, which was a constitutional decision, was to urge for five years that this country not go to war in Iraq.

MR. MATTHEWS: Dr. Paul, that’s all. And again, there’s another question for Jim.


MR. VANDEHEI: Congressman Paul, Carrie (sp) from Connecticut asks, do you trust the mainstream media?

REP. PAUL: (Laughs.) Some of them. (Laughter.) But I trust the Internet a lot more.


REP. PAUL: And I trust the freedom of expression, and that’s why we should never interfere with the Internet, that’s why I’ve never voted to regulate the Internet, even when there’s the temptation to put bad things on the Internet. Regulation of bad and good on the Internet should be done differently.


MR. MATTHEWS: Senator McCain, are you for a national tamper- proof ID card?

SEN. MCCAIN: That’s one of the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. And absolutely, if someone wants to work, they have to have a document that’s tamper proof.

And any employer who employs someone else with any other document, like a bogus Social Security card or birth certificate, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

MR. MATTHEWS: Dr. Paul. Dr. Paul.

REP. PAUL: I am absolutely opposed to a national ID card. This is a total contradiction of what a free society is all about. The purpose of government is to protect the secrecy and the privacy of all individuals, not the secrecy of government. We don’t need a national ID card.

MR. MATTHEWS: Mr. Tancredo, do you agree with the need of a national tamper-proof ID card?

REP. TANCREDO: We do not need a national ID -- I do not think we need a national ID card, much for the reasons that Dr. Paul said. We absolutely need a verifiable Social Security card. They are two separate things. I believe that we can accomplish the former without jeopardizing individual liberties --

MR. MATTHEWS: But you say, legally you have to who you say you are.

REP. TANCREDO: Pardon me?

MR. MATTHEWS: You have to be the person on that card.

MR. TANCREDO: That is absolutely what I’m saying. It’s got to be verifiable. Absolutely.

Ron Paul 2008

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